Fed Pract. 2020 Aug;37(Suppl 4):S22-S27. doi: 10.12788/fp.0037.
BACKGROUND: The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest integrated health care system in the US. The VA sees about 50,000 new cancer diagnoses each year and provides care for more than 400,000 veterans with cancer. The heterogeneity of molecular testing practice patterns and methods of testing at VA health care facilities and the increasing number and complexity of molecular tests led to the development of national program for precision oncology.
OBSERVATIONS: The National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP) provides tumor sequencing and consultative services for the treatment of veterans with cancer. NPOP is used by nearly all VA oncology practices and has now sequenced > 13,000 samples. The initial focus was on advanced-stage nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer, which has one of the highest number of mutated genes that result in sensitivity to antineoplastic drugs. Recently, testing was expanded to include metastatic prostate cancer and hematologic malignancies with prior approval. The program also offers cell-free DNA (liquid biopsy) and PD-L1 immunohistochemistry analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: The VA NPOP is one of the largest clinical DNA sequencing programs in the US with integrated consultation services and health informatics resources to facilitate patient care, clinical trials, and health outcomes research. The clinical services of NPOP provide cutting-edge oncology services to veterans throughout VA without exacerbating disparities and will be a national resource for research.